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#1
i was just sanding my guitar wanting to paint it, and i thought the sanded black looked extremly cool with out the finish, nice and rugged

i read that the finish effects the ressonance of electric guitars,it was wondering if i leave my guitar just sanded, would it make it sound bad?
Quote by Paddles
I feel sorry for the drummer, he gets stuck with a guitarist who can't hold a rhythm to save his life and a vocalist in the middle of a heavy-flow month.
#2
not really. electric guitars aren't really effected seriously by finishes as much as hollow bodies.
#3
Quote by kaplac
not really. electric guitars aren't really effected seriously by finishes as much as hollow bodies.



Diregard this advice, it DOES effect the tone. But, you have to have a decent guitar to begin with to really notice it, with quality "tone" woods.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#4
Ormsby, don't you think that with an electric guitar there are too many other variables to get caught up in the finish? Obviously if you had a poly finish several milimiters thick it would cause a difference, but there are so many other things that also affect it....
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

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#5
The only finish that really affects the tone of a guitar is a nitrocellulose finish, which unless your guitar cost a small fortune it probably didnt have one anyway. So if you leave it sanded down it wont really make a difference.
#6
Quote by ClaptonRules
The only finish that really affects the tone of a guitar is a nitrocellulose finish, which unless your guitar cost a small fortune it probably didnt have one anyway. So if you leave it sanded down it wont really make a difference.


what you mean to say is:
one of the only finished that has HARDLY ANY EFFECT on tone, is nitro...

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#7
Ormsby, my "not really" was to answer his question, asking if his guitar will sound like crap if he left it how it is.

And If you use a quality tone wood, you obviously will hear a difference in tone, assuming you knwo how the guitar sounds without a finish on it. Obviously the paint will effect the wood, but most people around here do refinishes, which are usually just layed on top of the old finish, or they sand it down to grain and basically work the finish back up to teh same level it was when the factory sprayed poly. Sure poly and lacquer are two completely different beasts, but I can honestly say that I dont' hear any serious tonal variances when I paint guitars. I know there are minor tone tweaks, after a guitar has been painted, but would you beleive that a guitar finish effects toen so much you would measure how thick you put it on, use certain colors, and mix your own paint for the sake of possibly harming the toen of the guitar, as some people will tweak their pickups, rewind them, adjust the pole pieces, and even buy new pickups, all for the sake of finishing their tone?

Thats a really long run on sentence there.
#8
I've got a question... What you you get combine all the lies that Taylor, Gibson, and Edd Roman try to feed us on a daily basis? Ormsby guitars' posts!

Seriously... Nitro deadens the tone more than shellac, True Oil, KTM9, KTM4, and Acrylic lacquer. The only common finish that deadens the tone more than Nitro is Urethane.

The traditional finish for guitars is shellac. Shellac dries hard polishes to a shine and rather than dampening the tone of the instrument it actually enhances it. The problems with shellec are that it is very brittle and it isn?t water resistant. That means that it does very little to actually protect the guitar. On top of that it is very time consuming to apply and it takes a long time to actually get good at doing a French polish.

Martin was the 1st company to use Nitro as standard but once Martin started everybody seemed to follow. The advantages of nitro are that it is strong and water resistant which make it great for protecting the instrument, it polishes to a nice gloss, and it dries hard, but the biggest advantage is that it?s quick and easy to apply. That is why factories used it for so long. Because it was easy! The disadvantage of Nitro is that it is heavy which means it does still dampen the tone of the instrument, it has a tendency to crack (spider web) after about 20 years, it turns yellow when exposed to the sun, and it is very toxic and bad for the environment. Nitro is so dangerouse to the people spraying it and so bad for the environment that many countries have outlawed the use of Nitro. That is why the cost of Nitro has gone up over the years and why people don?t use it as much as they used to.

Acrylic lacquer is almost as strong as Nitro and it can gloss up just as nice. It is clearer than nitro so you can also get a super blonde look of you want. I?m really not sure why anybody would say that acrylic isn?t as good as Nitro unless people actually want a finish that is going to dampen the tone of the guitar.

Waterbased finishes like KTM9, and KTM 4 look almost like Nitro, they are water resistant, they dry hard, and they are lighter than nitro so they don?t dampen the tone of the instrument as much as nitro would. Also water based finishes are environmentally friendly. The drawback of the water based finishes is that they are not as strong as nitro. They are still very strong and very adequate but still? Not as strong as nitro.

True oil is good for people that are just starting because you don?t need special equipment to use it. All you need is a lint free rag. The biggest advantage is that it is cheap. You can finish a whole guitar for $4.99. It dries hard, and you can choose between a ?bare wood? look or a wet look. I say bare wood and wet instead of satin and gloss only because it doesn?t look like a normal satin finish and it doesn?t look like a normal gloss finish. It has a more natural look to it. The big disadvantage to true oil is that it isn?t a strong finish. It?s significantly stronger than shellac but not nearly as strong as KTM9 or Lacquer. If applied correctly it will dampen the tone only slightly but if applied by someone inexperienced it can even dampen the tone more than nitro

Urethane finishes are the strongest finishes commonly used on guitars, and they are the best for protecting from water. There disadvantages are that they feel sticky when they get wet (so does lacquer but urethane is worse) and it is still simi soft when it dries and that combined with the weight of the finish make it so that it dampens the tone a bit more than lacquer.


So what does all this mean? 1st and foremost it means that Ormsby guitars is full of BS. He tells people the same lies you hear at guitar center so that he can charge you more for an inferior product. I?m not saying his guitars are inferior, but I am saying that he chooses features that are cheaper and/or easier to have on guitars and plays them off as being more expensive and more difficult to produce and then he tells people they should pay extra money for these downgrades. We expect this from corporations that are praying off the little guy but not from your fellow musicians or from the mom and pop shops.

The second point of this posts is to say that the only finish that is said to enhance the tone of the guitar is shellac. All the other finished deaden the tone. The reason people put a finish on their guitars is to protect it. If you leave your guitar with bare wood it will probably sound better than with the finish but it will not be protected and you really should protect your guitar. I tried to tell you what I know about common finishes so that you can decide what your guitar needs. I would recommend to you that you go to walmart (if you are in the USA) and head to the Gun Department. Get some True oil gunstock finish (it has to be true oil not tung oil) and put some of that on your guitar. Rub it on with a rag and then immediately rub it as dry and you can with another rag. 2 or 3 coats like this and your guitar will be protected and it will look and feel a lot like bare wood.
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#9
No, Orsmby. I dont care if you are some Aussie guitar builder, do your research. Eric Johnsons sig Strat by Fender has a nitro finish. It DOES have an affect on a guitars tone. It helps the sustain. It molecularly bonds to the paint and makes a super hard finish which in turn helps sustain. It doesnt do much else, other then take a chunk out of your bank account but it does have an effect on a guitar. But for the threadstarter, if you want to leave your guitar a sanded, worn black finish, then leave it. Clear coat dont really do much for you tone. It just makes your guitar all shiney and pretty.
#10
saying that finished or unfinished changes the tone is ridiculous. That's like saying the color of paint effects the tone, or the way the light hits it affects the tone. Leave it unfinished if you like it that way.
Originally Posted by sadistic_monkey
Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?


My Gear:
Ibanez Rg320DX (81/85)
Alvarez Classic Electric
B-52 AT-100
Roland Cube 15
Marshall Avt Cab
Crate Blue Voodoo Cab (V30's)
#11
i never finish the neck of guitars i paint. I always just sand them down to smooth wood. But i guess that's personal preference.
Originally Posted by sadistic_monkey
Does this rag smell like chloroform to you?


My Gear:
Ibanez Rg320DX (81/85)
Alvarez Classic Electric
B-52 AT-100
Roland Cube 15
Marshall Avt Cab
Crate Blue Voodoo Cab (V30's)
#12
You got an edit button Wylde. LOL.. But I like what he said about leaving it. Over coats do have an efect but not enough to make a difference, so just leave it that way if you like it. Dont clear it and make it look like every other guitar that Orsmby builds. If it looks cool then leave it. Maybe you could even post a pic of oyur guitar the way it is now.
#13
Quote by ClaptonRules
No, Orsmby. I dont care if you are some Aussie guitar builder, do your research. Eric Johnsons sig Strat by Fender has a nitro finish. It DOES have an affect on a guitars tone. It helps the sustain.


What does Eric Johnsons sig have to do with anything?

Dude, you don't get it. When they say Nitro has better sustain, they don't mean better than bare wood. They mean better than other finishes. All commen finishes (except shellac) hurt sustain and deaden the tone, so when somebody says a finish has "little effect" or "no effect" or "hardly any effect" on tone they are saying that it is better than other finishes. You were agreing with ormsby and you didn't even know it because you were just repeating some crap you heard somewhere and you didn't understand what you were hearing.


Nitro sustains better than urithan. Nitro changes the tone less than Urithan. If tone is what you are looking at Nitro is better than Urithan, but there are a lot of finishes that have a much much better tone than Nitro.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jun 10, 2006,
#14
I think what we tend to lose sight of sometimes in solidbody design is that adjusting the pickup height a couple milimeters will have a much greater affect than any finish would. It's like the load of crap on the Les Paul Forum about inlays and truss rod condoms having an affect on tone. There are so many variables that to get caught up in something like a finish or type of glue is sort of rediculous.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
#16
If you worry about the tone of your finish or glue, you've been playing for 30 years. You also are a freak because almost anything will sound good through a good amp at max volume.
#17
.. So does this mean I'm right?

The threadstarter must be so ocnfused by now. He jsut asked a simple question. *sigh*
#18
Quote by CorduroyEW
What does Eric Johnsons sig have to do with anything?

Dude, you don't get it. When they say Nitro has better sustain, they don't mean better than bare wood. They mean better than other finishes. All commen finishes (except shellac) hurt sustain and deaden the tone, so when somebody says a finish has "little effect" or "no effect" or "hardly any effect" on tone they are saying that it is better than other finishes. You were agreing with ormsby and you didn't even know it because you were just repeating some crap you heard somewhere and you didn't understand what you were hearing.


Nitro sustains better than urithan. Nitro changes the tone less than Urithan. If tone is what you are looking at Nitro is better than Urithan, but there are a lot of finishes that have a much much better tone than Nitro.



OK Dude.
Look Im a professional painter, so I know more then any wood worker knows about finishing. When someone says something wont "Do Much For The Tone", I take that as "It doesnt help tone". As do most people. All Shellac does is make it have a deep wet gloss. Not really much more. Nitro, bonds with the paint to harden the whole thing kind of like a stiff solid body guitar will help sustain, so does Nitro. I dont care that you can glue some wood together. Learn to paint and do custom finishes, and then talk about your preference of top coats.
#19
nitro bonds with the paint? huh? I was under the impression that the nitro he's refering to is paint. I know a lot less than Cord, a lot less than Ormsby, and quite possibly a lot less than you, but I'm not understanding how ANY finish could make the wood resonate for longer.
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
#20
I think he's saying that since the paints chemically bond with the atoms in the wood, it basically is like adding more wood to the body and allowing the body ot resonate more?
#21
Nitro is a clear coating that goes on like a clear coat. It seeps down through the paint to cause the paint to harden. Paint is relativley soft. The top layer of Nitro is too, but the ones under that are super hard. Shellac is hard but dont do **** but go over the paint and make it shiney.
#22
^What the Hell does being a painter have to do with understanding how the paint is going to change the tonal quality of the wood?

The fact that nitro hardens paint is all fine and good but how would the finish being hard make the guitar sustain longer? And the thing about mixing with paint doesn't matter if you don't use paint. You shouldn't be using paint on your guitar you should use dyes mixed in whatever substance you are using for your clear coat. That is, unless you are using an oil finish in which case you would be using wood stains or mixing dyes with shellac for the undercoat.

You never did answer my question about what eric johnsons guitar had to do with anything.
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#23
His guitar dont really matter but the interview he did for Fender does. Because he talks about the finish of his guitar. Thats what I was meaning by that. Sorry for not clarifying. And theres no prblem with using paint on a guitar. Most companies do that. I never said you mix Nitro with the paint. You paint then spray on the Nitro and it hardens the paint. Thats why if you crack a Nitro finish you have to repaint the whole guitar because it splits down to the wood. And dyed mixed clear coats only work if your doing a transparent finish so you can see the grain through the color. If you dont have some wood like quilted maple then why in the hell would anyone want to see the patern of Alder through trans blue or some sh*t. Dyed clears only work on "good" wood, not the crappy stuff. But with crappy stuff I dont guess they would put much Nitro on those, now would they? Oh well.
#24
after that post I'm going to say it. You are are not a pro painter. You don't have a clue what you are talking about. You don't know about clear coats, you don't know and you don't know about painting guitars. What kind of "pro painter" wouldn't know that it is possible to get opaque dyes? I figured you were lying when you just said you were a painter and didn't specify what it was that you painted.


You have no clue. Stop giving bad advice and go back to searching for internet porn or reading guitar center booklets or whatever it is you do. If you don't know what you are talking about stop trying to sound like you do.


I'll come back in the morning and point out everything that was wrong with your post but for now I'm off to bed.
Not taking any online orders.
#25
OOOHHHH, OK. N e way. Yeah I do paint for a living. Cars mostly, but I have painted guitars too, I usually paint all of my guitars in my shop when I have the time. And yeah I know about opaque dye, but if you knew what you were talking about you would know that opaque means you can still see thru it just not as many details. Kind of like a girl in a wet T-Shrit contest. You can make out her nipples but cant actually see them. Like in paint, opaque, you can make out some details like wood grain but cant see it very well. And I personally dont give a sh*t about dyes because I use PAINT. You know the stuff that goes on after primer and before clearcoat. I tell you what I can give you some pics of the guitars I have painted in the past if youd like.


Besides painting is more of an art. People didnt understand what Michelangelo was doing at the time but look how respected he is now.
Last edited by ClaptonRules at Jun 10, 2006,
#26
Quote by CorduroyEW
I would recommend to you that you go to walmart (if you are in the USA) and head to the Gun Department. Get some True oil gunstock finish (it has to be true oil not tung oil) and put some of that on your guitar. Rub it on with a rag and then immediately rub it as dry and you can with another rag. 2 or 3 coats like this and your guitar will be protected and it will look and feel a lot like bare wood.

Exactly what my old man said ... and here I am waiting forever for the Pure Tung Oil to dry. D'oh!


Can I apply True Oil over the tung oil once it's dry or should I sand first?
#27
Quote by CorduroyEW



So what does all this mean? 1st and foremost it means that Ormsby guitars is full of BS. He tells people the same lies you hear at guitar center so that he can charge you more for an inferior product. I?m not saying his guitars are inferior, but I am saying that he chooses features that are cheaper and/or easier to have on guitars and plays them off as being more expensive and more difficult to produce and then he tells people they should pay extra money for these downgrades. We expect this from corporations that are praying off the little guy but not from your fellow musicians or from the mom and pop shops.



Well, lets see... Ive stated Nitro has LESS of a tone impact than urethane, two pack, and acrylic. I DONT OFFER NITRO AS AN OPTION ON MY GUITARS. How can i charge more, when i dont offer it? I dont offer it, because i dont believe the tone difference is enough, and the product is less suitable to my instruments (heavy stage use, custom paintwork).

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#28
Quote by CorduroyEW

Martin was the 1st company to use Nitro as standard but once Martin started everybody seemed to follow.


Lets get this one straightened out first...
NITROCELLULOSE WAS THE ONLY FINISH AVAILABLE. Period. There was NO OTHER alternatives, other than VARNISH... i thick oily substrance designed to cover in one or two coats, that took 12+ hours to dry, that cant be buffed easily, couldnt be sprayed (too thick), and a million other reasons.


Quote by CorduroyEW

The advantages of nitro are that it is strong and water resistant which make it great for protecting the instrument, it polishes to a nice gloss, and it dries hard, but the biggest advantage is that it?s quick and easy to apply.

You may call it water resistant, but i wouldnt. Ive repaired many many water damaged nitro guitars. Sure it will resist a simple quick spill, but 99.9% guitar finishes will also. It isnt as strong as any MODERN (when i state modern, i mean anything developped since 1965) finish.
It does dry quickly (tacks off quick... dry enough to touch and hold) but takes a long time to properly cure. 15 coats of nitro take 15 days to dry well enough, to ensure there is no sinkback after buffing.


Quote by CorduroyEW

That is why factories used it for so long. Because it was easy!

Because it was the only option!!!
As soon as acrylic paint was developped for cars (nitro was originally used), most companies converted.... they got better coat coverage (less coats per guitar), no yellowing, no cracking, and a bigger variety of colours. Nitro is amber/yellow, so blues didnt look right, white was never white, and purples looked wierd. Take a look at some vintage (pre 1960) car colour charts (google it) and see what happened to the colour ranges when acrylic was implemented...

Quote by CorduroyEW

The disadvantage of Nitro is that it is heavy which means it does still dampen the tone of the instrument, it has a tendency to crack (spider web) after about 20 years, it turns yellow when exposed to the sun, and it is very toxic and bad for the environment.

ALL FINISHES dampen the instrument. Maybe that wasnt clear in my posts earlier.

Quote by CorduroyEW

Nitro is so dangerouse to the people spraying it and so bad for the environment that many countries have outlawed the use of Nitro.

This is about your only correct point

Quote by CorduroyEW

That is why the cost of Nitro has gone up over the years and why people don?t use it as much as they used to.

No, its more expensive because the raw materials are not being manufactered in the numbers they used to be, there are less people using it, and therefore the big paint companies have dropped it from their catalogues. THATS why its more expensive. I dont know of ANY COMPANY, that deliberately charges more for a product because "its bad"... wouldnt they just stop making it if they were so concerned???

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#29
Quote by CorduroyEW
after that post I'm going to say it. You are are not a pro painter. You don't have a clue what you are talking about. You don't know about clear coats, you don't know and you don't know about painting guitars. What kind of "pro painter" wouldn't know that it is possible to get opaque dyes? I figured you were lying when you just said you were a painter and didn't specify what it was that you painted.


You have no clue. Stop giving bad advice and go back to searching for internet porn or reading guitar center booklets or whatever it is you do. If you don't know what you are talking about stop trying to sound like you do.


I'll come back in the morning and point out everything that was wrong with your post but for now I'm off to bed.


It would be nice if you could point out mistakes in his theory rather than resort to name calling, and bashing. People tend to respect you more.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
#30
^^ Thank you Ormsby. You took the words right out of my mouth. Y'all Australians arent too bad. Just a little to rich for my taste...LOL
#31
People used nitro back in the day because it was cheap, made in large quantities, and easy to work with relative to the other options back then.

Claptonrules doesn't appear to know much about painting.

Nitro is quite water resistant. I once spilled a whole bunch of coffee all over my nitro coated Strat, and the butt layed in a pool of it for about 45 mins before I noticed...
Now don't go say "zomg leaving it in moisture for only 45 mins doesn't count!!1!!"
If you're soaking your guitars for hours at a time you shouldn't even have a guitar.

I think that basically covers all the points that are currently being argued.

Now, threadstarter:
Adding any finish(except shellac as was mentioned before) will dull tone somewhat, but not a very noticeable amount for most people. People paint their guitars primarily to prevent denting, stop dirt and water from soaking in, etc...
It's done to protect the wood underneith. In the case of a neck, it can also help prevent warping.

(Oh, and also, poly and nitro are both different types of lacquers, they just have different resins...)
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I'm a retired Supermod off to the greener pastures of the real world.
#32
Poly is more plastic then lacquer, lacquer is resin diluted in fast drying solutions like naptha. Poly is essentially plastic that uses a hardener to stiffen the cell structure of the polyethelene or whatever it is. So I wouldn't exactly classify polyurethane as a lacquer.
#33
So just to clarify, we all agree except ClaptonRules that nitro will dampen tone IF it has any affect at all, right? But what the threadstarter really wants to know is if it will be noticeable on a soldibody...
"The most important thing is to learn how to play the guitar before you get 50,000 dollars worth of complicated gear" -Slash

Not a member of any clubs. Don't PM me.
#34
Nope, assuming he only scratched up hte surface so far, there shoudl be no notable effect on tone.
#35
wow there is a lot of debate over this, and i really appreciate it, i think im going to keep it unfinished

ill take a picture and post it , i think it looks pretty cool, like one of SRV's worn down guitars,

Thanks again everyone
Quote by Paddles
I feel sorry for the drummer, he gets stuck with a guitarist who can't hold a rhythm to save his life and a vocalist in the middle of a heavy-flow month.
#36
His guitar don?t really matter but the interview he did for fender does. Because he talks about the finish of his guitar.


So why would having a musician talk about the finish of a guitar prove that the finish is actually better? I?m a very good driver but I don?t know how to build a car. My friend is races dirt bikes and is sponsored by Honda, he gets to pick out everything that is on his dirt bike, but he doesn?t know how to build a motorcycle. I used to skate for K2 and they let me pic out all sorts of cool little things for my skates but I didn?t know why the things I chose made my skates work better. I had to trust the professionals that build them. Musicians are the same way. The typically have a general idea about how there instrument works but they really only know what they are told. They haven?t spent hours reading books like
Understanding Wood, Bruce Hoadley
A Guitar Maker?s Manual by Jim Williams
Classic Guitar Construction, Irving Sloane
Guitarmaking Tradition and Technology, W. Cumpiano
Lutherie Tools , Cyndy Burton and Tim Olsen
Lutherie woods and steel string Guitars, Burton and Olsen
Making Master Guitars, Roy Courtnall
Steel string Guitar construction, Irving Sloane
The History of the American guitar: 1833 to Present
The Luthier?s Handbook
The Guild of American Lutherie volum 1, 2, and 3
Electric Guitar setups, Hideo Kamimoto
Woodworking Basics, Peter Korn
The woodfinishing Book, Michael Dresdner
The Ultimate Bluegrass Mandolin Construction Manual, Siminoff
Making an archtop Guitar, Robert Benedetto
Left-Brain Lutherie, David C Hurd, PH.D.
Pearl Inlay, J.E Patterson
The art of Inlay, Larry Robinson
The Bouzouki Book, Graham McDonald
Double Bevel Sharpening, Brian Burns
Vintage Guitars - The Instruments, The Players, The Music
Constructing a solidbody guitar, Rober Siminoff
Customizing your electric Guitar, Adrian Legg
If you couldn?t tell those are some of the books I have in my Library that I have read cover to cover. Most luthier I?ve met have read these and many many more. Reading books like this makes it so that we can listen to the musicians needs and then tell them things like ?you need a nitro finish because it?s strong but will still give you the sustain you want? and then that musician can go tell the public ?I chose a nitro finish because of the sustain it will give me? but that musician doesn?t really know about all the finishing options or what they will do because that musician never actually studied. That is what the luthier is there for.


never said you mix Nitro with the paint. You paint then spray on the Nitro and it hardens the paint


I never said you did. Yeah, we get it. Nitro hardens paint, but it?s still only some types of paint that it hardens. If you put nitro on the wrong paint you end up with a goopy mess.

Thats why if you crack a Nitro finish you have to repaint the whole guitar because it splits down to the wood


When you want to fix cracks and dings on a guitar that has a clear finish of Nitro you still have to refinish if you don?t want to see the fix. The reason it?s hard to repair nitro is because after it has had enough time to dry it is very hard (so you kind of had that right). After it has hardened it will never become soft enough to be able to adequately cover the seams of old lacquer and new. You will always see a shadow. If you knew as much as you say you do about finishing then you would know that even if the cracks went down to the wood, that wouldn?t mean that you had to refinish the whole thing. With other finishes you can sand down to the wood, repaint or redye the one section and then clear over the top. If you mix your own colors then it is possible to make the repair completely invisible with things like shellac, and oil finish, but if you use nitro you can get the color right by you will always see a cloudy line where the old Nitro and the new nitro bonded. So although nitro will cause cracks to go all the way down to the wood is a true statement, that isn?t the reason you have to repaint the whole guitar.

And dyed mixed clear coats only work if your doing a transparent finish so you can see the grain through the color. If you dont have some wood like quilted maple then why in the hell would anyone want to see the patern of Alder through trans blue or some sh*t. Dyed clears only work on "good" wood, not the crappy stuff. But with crappy stuff I dont guess they would put much Nitro on those, now would they?

This is the statement that made me know you were a liar. If you look opaque up in the dictionary you will see that opaque means ?Impenetrable by light; neither transparent nor translucent.? That means you can?t see thru it. Your paint that you use to make it so you can?t see thru something. Those are opaque paints. The terms transparent and translucent are what is used when you are talking about things you can see though. Transparent finishes are where your wet teeshirt analogy can come into play. Having just a little bit of transparent dye makes it so you can see the grain really well. Having lots of transparent dye makes it so you can see thru the finish to the grain as well. It is even possible to add enough transparent dye to a finish to make it opaque. That?s what I do when people what a burst finish because it?s easier for me to make the colors blend. Any ?pro painter? should know that the term opaque is the term used when describing a finish that can not be seen through. If paint is what you are supposed to use on guitars then why don?t they sell it at the luthier supply shops? They sell opaque lacquer. They sell, opaque dye so you can mix your own colors, but they don?t sell paint.

This is what you use for an opaque finish
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies/Colors,_tints,_and_stains/ColorTone_Liquid_Pigments_for_Lacquer.html

Stewmac is one of the biggest suppliers in the world for guitar finishes. Try and find paint anywhere in their finishing supplies.
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Finishing_supplies.html

It isn?t there because that isn?t what you are supposed to use. Before you start up with the argument that they figure you could just go to the store and buy it yourself, just let me point out that they sell sandpaper which can easily be bought at the store.
Not taking any online orders.
#37
Quote by ClaptonRules
Yeah I do paint for a living. Cars mostly, but I have painted guitars too, I usually paint all of my guitars in my shop when I have the time. And yeah I know about opaque dye, but if you knew what you were talking about you would know that opaque means you can still see thru it just not as many details. Kind of like a girl in a wet T-Shrit contest. You can make out her nipples but cant actually see them. Like in paint, opaque, you can make out some details like wood grain but cant see it very well. And I personally dont give a sh*t about dyes because I use PAINT. You know the stuff that goes on after primer and before clearcoat. I tell you what I can give you some pics of the guitars I have painted in the past if youd like.


Besides painting is more of an art. People didnt understand what Michelangelo was doing at the time but look how respected he is now.



How does painting cars qualify you to paint guitars? Do you have to soak the wood in an acid bath so that you can make the primer adhear to it like you do aluminum? Do you have to fill the poors on steel so that you can get a good finish like you do Mahogany? There are many differences between painting metal and fiberglass and painting wood. Untill about 6 months ago I built signs for a living and I had to paint on acrylic, aluminum, steel, lexion, polycarbinate, and fiberglass and painting these substances are all different than painting wood.

I'm sure you can get a verry nice looking guitar with your paints. Alge used to swear by duplicolor enamel paints for his guitars and he did very nice work, but he wasn't making false clames about what it did to the tonal quality of the instrument. He simply said that on electric guitars the finish doesn't change the tone enough to worry about. He was just using something that was strong and looked nice because the tonal drawback was so minimal that nobody noticed anyway. So I'm sure you can make a very nice guitar with paint and a clearcoat but that doesn't change the fact that mixing dye with the traditional finished will give you a better sounding instrument, and that doesn't change the fact that on nice guitars thy don't use paint. If you use paint on an acoustic guitar many luthiers will refuse to fix it because they figure you already ruind your guitar with paint. It hurts the acoustic quality of the wood that much.
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#38
Ormsby, I thought that you were pushing this stuff because you were trying to use the misconceptions that people have so that you could profit from it (I?ve seen you talk about the potential to do that before even if you didn?t actually offer up the guitar yet) I do know that you take some features that that are cheap and easy and try and pawn them off as costly and more difficult than other options. If you really believe what you are saying then I?m sorry. Both for you and for the people you try to help.

1921: Nitrocellulose lacquer invented by Flaherty (USA)

Do you think there were no guitars before 1921? If the only finish is nitro then that is what you were saying. But wait a second. You said the only finish was nitro and then went on to give another alternative. Yes, they have varnish back then too. Yes it was a big mess and a horrible alternative to Nitro. No they didn?t often use it for guitars.

I don?t know how long French polish (shellac) has been around, but I do know that it has been around for hundreds of years. This is something I took from Frank Fords websit www.frets.com
?In the days before spray finishing and abrasive buffing, the technique known as "French polishing" was said to produce the finest finish on wood. There's no doubt this is true since the alternatives were various forms of rubbed or brushed finishes.

Later, as the cost of solvents decreased and the cost of labor increased, modern spray techniques began to replace the French polish finishing. Around 1925 to 1930, the last of the American instrument makers gave up the labor intensive technique in favor of the spray gun.

French polishing is certainly the appropriate technique for finishing or for restoring finishes on the instruments of the 1920s and earlier. French polishing is a technique, not a material; the finish itself is shellac dissolved in denatured alcohol.?


So you see. French polishing was 1st and because lacquer was easier people switched to that. It was to save time and money.


Ormsby, My problem with you is you come here stating the same (incorrect) facts that you read in the guitar mags, and the brochures that are trying to sell you on a specific product. I figure that you are a luthier and you should know better. How the hell are you going to tell somebody how to choose the parts of their guitar when you don?t even know why the parts do what they do, and the suitable alternatives. How are people supposed to trust any of us luthiers when there are other luthiers pushing things that aren?t true because somebody told them it was and they didn?t bother to do their Homewook and study it for themselves? When people see luthier buy your name and they see luthier by my name they automatically put us in the same category. What frightens me is that it means that your misconceptions affects my credibility. I believe that you are honestly trying to tell people the truth (I didn?t believe that when I made my 1st post in this thread) and I believe that you have found a system that works for you and creates very nice guitars. I?ve seen the pics of your work and they are great. I trust that they sound great too, but you still come here stating false facts about products that you don?t really understand and that is dangerous for all of us.
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#39
You may call it water resistant, but i wouldnt. Ive repaired many many water damaged nitro guitars. Sure it will resist a simple quick spill, but 99.9% guitar finishes will also. It isnt as strong as any MODERN (when i state modern, i mean anything developped since 1965) finish.
It does dry quickly (tacks off quick... dry enough to touch and hold) but takes a long time to properly cure. 15 coats of nitro take 15 days to dry well enough, to ensure there is no sinkback after buffing.


Water resistant, not water proof. Water does a hell of a lot of damage to nitro but if you spill a cup of water on the back of your guitar and then wipe it off 1 minute later it?s not going to soak into the wood thru the finish although it may turn the finish white. On something like shellac the water goes straight thru to the wood.

KTM9, KTM4 were both invented since 1965. They are the most common water based lacquer substitutes and neither are as strong as lacquer I know because I have used them myself and because the documentation says so.

When I said Nitro was quick and easy I didn?t mean it dries quick. I meant that it was quick to apply. When I use lacquer (which I don?t do often) I use 10 to 15 coats and each coat take about 2 min. That means 20 to 30 min to apply and then it?s about the same amount of time sanding and buffing. French polishing take about 10min a session and need 30 or more sessions before you start leveling and polishing. So you are looking at 60min labor for Lacquer and more than 300min for shellac. That is what I meant by quick. I agree with your 15 days statement and I can add that you can hear the tone of an acoustic change for about 3 months after the guitar has been buffed due to the lacquer still drying.


As soon as acrylic paint was developped for cars (nitro was originally used), most companies converted.... they got better coat coverage (less coats per guitar), no yellowing, no cracking, and a bigger variety of colours. Nitro is amber/yellow, so blues didnt look right, white was never white, and purples looked wierd. Take a look at some vintage (pre 1960) car colour charts (google it) and see what happened to the colour ranges when acrylic was implemented...


I already said that in my description of acrylic lacquer. At the time Nitro was the best option but when acrylic came around that was more clear and it went on better as well. I also stated that I?m unsure why people still use nitro since the advent of acrylic given that acrylic dampens the tone less and with it?s color options you can make it look almost exactly like nitro but you can also make it do lots of things nitro can?t. I figure people want nitro because people want the ?vintage sound? even tho the vintage sound actually inhibits the performance of the instrument.

ALL FINISHES dampen the instrument. Maybe that wasnt clear in my posts earlier.

All finishes change the tone of the instrument but not all finishes dampen the tone, and some dampen the tone more than others. Nitro dampens more than shellac, Acrylic, KTM9, KTM4, and True Oil. Shellac is the only finish I know of that doesn?t dampen the tone. You obviously don?t know much about shellac given that you already said it didn?t exist in the early days of guitar.

No, its more expensive because the raw materials are not being manufactered in the numbers they used to be, there are less people using it, and therefore the big paint companies have dropped it from their catalogues. THATS why its more expensive


The raw materials are not being manufactured in the numbers they used to be because people found out it was dangerous and because we found other options. Companies making and transporting the stuff have to pay lots of money for insurance because the stuff is a health hazard. They also have to pay lots more money for the special shipping. Both of this are expenses that didn?t used to be an issue. Both of these raise the price. The people that work in the finishing department of the big guitar manufacturing plants get more breaks and more sick days than the other people in the plants because of the health problems caused by Nitro. That raises cost. The rising cost and the awareness of health risks along with the lacquer alternatives becoming better all added to a decreased demand for lacquer, and less demand did cause fewer companies producing it.

I dont know of ANY COMPANY, that deliberately charges more for a product because "its bad"... wouldnt they just stop making it if they were so concerned
No. We still use petrol when we know it?s bad. We still drink alcohol when we know it?s bad. We still use cement when the cement industry creates more pollutants than all the cars in the world. What happens when something is found to be ?bad for you? is the government steps in to regulate it. Usually the companies end up being forced to make the working conditions around the product more safe. This can be done with special equipment and with proper training but usually the training and equipment cost money and that is reflected in the prices. Also the government adds taxes. Usually these taxes are justified buy saying the money earned will be spent on stuff that will help fix the environmental and medical issues that arise when you use these products. Also the government requires the companies to get special licenses and special insurance. When it's not possible to satisfy the demands of the government or when the product is just too bad for people or the enviroment then the government will outlaw it (like many governments have outlawed nitro). All this costs money and adds to the price. Companies choosing not to use a product because it?s bad for you or bad for the environment almost never happens. If it did happen we wouldn?t have cigarettes. Companies usually stop using the products because they find something that works better, faster, or cheaper.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jun 11, 2006,
#40
CorduroyEW (what is your name, and business by the way?) im not interested in arguing. I'll let my guitars, 21 month backlog, and a the fact that 75% of ALL my previous customers have come back to order one, two, three and even FOUR more guitars, on the spot, speak for my ability to build instruments, and my ability to offer advice which is matched to the client requirements.

Arguing on an internet forum with someone who doesnt want to read my posts correctly (and like to add "facts" which i havent qualified, and are directly related to the way my business operates, which you have zero clue about), and seems to have an agenda with anyone else who makes building instruments his/her source of income... is pointless. I could care less.

Cheers for the chat though, it was fun for a while. Im off to build some more guitars for real people.

Regards,
Perry Ormsby

Pevious builds:
HERE!
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